Laurent Mekies: “Mercedes and Red Bull Racing in the lead” / Formula 1


Ferrari sports director Laurent Mekies talks about the start of the new Formula 1 season, the new drive unit from Maranello and the new balance of power in the GP field.

The Ferrari team had a productive training Friday on the Bahrain International Circuit. In the first of the two hour-long sessions, Charles Leclerc landed fifth, while his new team-mate Carlos Sainz turned the eighth fastest lap. Together, the two stable companions made 29 laps. In the afternoon, the duo covered significantly more kilometers with 52 laps than in the first session, which took place in less representative conditions.

This time the Spaniard with the fourth fastest time was ahead – and clearly. Because Monegasse had to be content with twelfth place on the FP2 timesheet. He stayed almost half a second slower than the team newcomer from Madrid. Ferrari sports director Laurent Mekies provided the explanation for this: “He just didn’t get a good lap, and the C4 tire is enough for a good lap. It works, or it just goes wrong. He got caught in traffic, so it didn’t work this time, but that wasn’t the focus anyway. “

The engineer emphasized that the Scuderia focused much more on getting to know the new racer better. “We continued the test work because the winter test drives were particularly short this year with three days. Of course we also worked on tire management. ” The French have not yet been able to say where the Reds stand compared to the competition.

And about the new engine, the head of sport for the Italians says: “We’re happy with what we’re seeing here and we think we have been able to improve. But we only know how much that is worth when we compare ourselves with the opponents. And we will probably only have enough information after two to four qualifying sessions to be able to say where we stand in relation to the competition. “

“We concentrate on making our car do what we want, and after qualifying we will then know whether it is enough to achieve our goals. We strive to improve ourselves and do not pay so much attention to the competition, ”Mekies clarified. At the same time, the 43-year-old dared to make an initial assessment of the general balance of power. “If you take the Friday training session as a reference, you can of course see that Mercedes and Red Bull Racing are doing very well and are ahead.”

“It’s pretty close behind, and the question of whether you’re at the top or at the bottom of this narrow field depends not least on how well you can optimize your own package over the weekend. But currently the focus is still on better understanding the new tires and how they work in these conditions. “

2. Training, Bahrain

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing RB16B-Honda, 1:30,847
02. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren MCL35M-Mercedes, 1: 30,942
03. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes W12, 1:31,082
04. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari SF21,1:31,127
05. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Mercedes W12, 1: 31,218
06. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS), McLaren MCL35M-Mercedes, 1: 31,230
07. Yuki Tsotaka (J), AlphaTauri AT02-Honda, 1: 31,294
08. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin AMR21-Mercedes,1:31,393
09. Pierre Gasly (F), AlphaTauri AT02-Honda,1:31,483
10. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing RB16B-Honda, 1:31,503
11. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine A521-Renault, 1:31,601
12. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari SF21, 1: 31.612
13. Antonio Giovinazzi (I), Alfa Romeo C41-Ferrari, 1: 31.740
14. Sebastian Vettel (D), Aston Martin AMR21-Mercedes, 1:31,769
15. Fernando Alonso (E), Alpine A521-Renault,1:31,770
16. Kimi Räikkönen (FIN), Alfa Romeo C41-Ferrari, 1: 31,862
17. George Russell (GB), Williams FW43B-Mercedes, 1.32,331
18. Mick Schumacher (D), Haas VF-21-Ferrari, 1:33,297
19. Nicholas Latifi (CDN), Williams FW43B-Mercedes, 1:33,400
20. Nikita Mazepin (RUS), Haas VF-21-Ferrari, 1:33,449

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Laurent Mekies Mercedes Red Bull Racing lead Formula


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